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Page last updated at 21:47 GMT, Saturday, 27 November 2010

Roger Federer beats Djokovic to set up Nadal final

ATP World Tour Finals
Venue: O2 Arena, London Date: Sunday 28 November Time: 1715 GMT
Coverage: Federer v Nadal live on BBC Two/BBC HD, streamed online & available through iPlayer (UK only); text commentary online and on mobiles via BBC Sport website; plus live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra (worldwide)

Roger Federer
A Federer masterclass blew Djokovic away at the O2 on Saturday night

By Piers Newbery at the O2 Arena

Roger Federer will face Rafael Nadal in a dream final at London's O2 Arena after the Swiss beat third seed Novak Djokovic with a terrific display.

Federer, the world number two, continued his unbeaten run at the ATP World Tour Finals with a 6-1 6-4 victory in Saturday's second semi-final.

Top seed Nadal earlier ended hopes of a home victory with a dramatic three-hour win over Andy Murray, but a 22nd meeting between Federer and Nadal on Sunday will appeal to all but the most ardent Murray fans.

While Nadal needed a final set tie-break to squeeze past Murray after more than three hours, Federer swept past Serb Djokovic in only 79 minutes.

"It seems like it's working this week," Federer said. "I played well against a player who's had a great season. I played a great match so I'm very happy. I hope I can keep this up for a long, long time."


Djokovic had dealt one of the heaviest blows of the season to Federer with victory in the US Open semi-finals, after the Swiss held two match points, but in two matches since then the 16-time Grand Slam champion had taken a 12-6 lead in head-to-head meetings with wins in Shanghai and Basle.

And Federer carried on where he had left off as he started like an express train on Saturday evening, standing on the baseline and swiping full-blooded blows off both sides that had his semi-final opponent scampering all over the court.

A breathless Djokovic double-faulted on break point in his opening service game and almost found himself a double-break down after a beautiful Federer backhand down the line in game four.

The world number three raised his arms in mock celebration when he finally won a meaningful point and had his first glimpse of a chance at deuce in the next game, but a loose forehand let him down and Federer powered on.

Djokovic did well to fight back from 0-40 down in the sixth game but his Swiss opponent skipped around his backhand to thump a magnificent forehand down the line for a fourth break point, and the under-fire Serb dumped an attempted drop volley in the net.

The first set was gone in just 31 minutes and Djokovic might have been excused for turning his thoughts to next weekend's Davis Cup final in Belgrade, but he had insisted all week he was ready to battle for this title and he proved that at the start of the second set.

Novak Djokovic
Apart from the start of the second set, it was a frustrating night for Djokovic

Federer let his guard slip as he was pegged back from 40-15 and Djokovic converted his first break point of the night with a fierce backhand that the Swiss volleyed into the net.

Clearly annoyed at himself for having slipped 3-0 down, Federer wasted little time in recovering the break with a superb game, his footwork brilliant once again as he hit two tremendous forehand winners before Djokovic played a poor volley and then missed with an attempted pass.

The Swiss was over his 10-minute lull and back in full flow, moving within sight of victory at 3-3, 0-40, only for the valiant Serb to battle his way back and stay on serve.

But the stay of execution was brief and Federer hammered away a forehand on his sixth break point of the set to move 5-4 ahead, before serving out comfortably to wrap up the most complete of performances.

Djokovic admitted that his conqueror had been on top of his game: "I think he was playing unbelievable from the first moment. He deserved to win, he was the better player today.

"He's playing maybe the best tennis in 2010. He's really stepping in, hitting the backhand and forehand winners all over the court. Every ball kind of listens to him and comes in, just close to the line.

"He's always on top of you, making pressure, he's very aggressive. That's why he's there."

Looking ahead to Sunday's final, 29-year-old Federer, who has not met Nadal since the final of the Madrid Masters in May, added: "I'm really enjoying myself and I hope I can produce something good tomorrow.

"Rafa showed today why he is the best player in the world at the moment and it should be a good match. We haven't played that much recently but I'm looking forward to playing him.

"Our styles match up well and he's always very respectful, which I appreciate. We've had some epics and some matches that didn't quite live up to expectations. Hopefully tomorrow will be a great match."

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see also
Federer v Djokovic as it happened
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Nadal ends Murray hopes in epic
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Nadal v Murray as it happened
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ATP Tour Finals photos
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Djokovic completes semi line-up
26 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Nadal wins to set up Murray clash
26 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Andy Murray column
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Murray makes last four in London
25 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Federer wins to reach ATP semis
25 Nov 10 |  Tennis
The contenders
18 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
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